6 min and 30 sec read
Being a home builder or developer, you likely spend the majority of your time and energy building homes or a community project. With all of your efforts, you want the homes or community to sell and you want it to sell quickly. In this article, you’ll learn a number of effective SEO strategies to help you market your business. Read on about the proven SEO strategies to sell homes.
SEO, search engine optimization, is not a one-time process nor a quick marketing strategy like a print ad. Instead, it is a proven long-term digital marketing strategy that increases website traffic, brand exposure and gives your company more opportunities to connect with interested homebuyers.
SEO techniques include a wide variety of online strategies. For example, best results from SEO stem from a high-quality custom website, continuous blogging, Google My Business, relevant keywords, link building and more consumer touchpoints such as social media and newsletters. We will discuss each in detail in this article.
SEO is the umbrella of marketing strategies with the main goal of ranking high on the SERP, search engine results page. Continue reading to learn more about the specific SEO steps for you to gain more qualified website visitors and prospects to your site.
A professional website helps you to market your company online and shows you that you are a competent and proven business. For instance, a high quality website clearly describes your services, lets you present your best projects and helps you conduct online marketing. An amateur website damages your credibility and eliminates new customers, no matter how good your marketing is.
Whether you are a freelance Realtor, own a lumber store or have a small home building or development business, a great website is essential to the success of your business. From my personal experience, I suggest developing a custom website and not a template. But more importantly, your website has become the center of your marketing universe.
It also has less reliance on plugins. This is because a custom site makes it easier to update content and make changes than a template. When building a custom website, be sure to include a submission box. This allows you to collect emails and more client based information to your database.
You might already have a custom website and that’s a good start, but do you have the Yoast SEO plugin? Yoast SEO is the #1 WordPress SEO plugin and is used to help rank websites. Yoast is free, can be easily learned and used by anyone, so nothing should be stopping you from getting extra SEO help.
Plus, Yoast SEO is a great plugin to add to your custom website because it also improves the experience for your visitors. For instance, it provides you with strategies to improve the readability of your articles, gives you a chance to rank a blog for a specific keyword, and helps improve your web index for search engines such as Google or Bing.
Being a seasoned professional, I always like to add Yoast SEO to all of my SEO clients’ websites. It makes it easy to optimize not only blog articles but full websites.
Blogging is an essential SEO strategy that fuels not only your website, but it also gives your target audience useful information and resources about your business. Blogging is key for SEO because it informs Google and other search engines of new information found on your website.
Every day search engines crawl for new information on the Internet and push the new content out to search queries. This is why the newest and most relevant information can be found at the top of the SERP, or at least on the first page. I recommend posting at least two blog articles per month for a starter SEO plan, more articles if you want more visibility.
If you can maximize your Google presence, it can drive potential buyers to your door and drive them away from less savvy competitors. You can do this by verifying your Google My Business (GMB) profile for your business and updating it frequently.
Be sure your GMB profile has accurate information about your business such as correct business hours, location and more. GMB can not only help you rank for Google Maps, but it is also another avenue for you to post your blog articles. Most agencies and companies overlook this important platform unfortunately.
In essence, use your GMB to become more visible on Google and to improve your SEO strategy overall.
SEO is based on keywords, but not all keywords are the same. Optimize your business pages and use keyword research and long-tail keywords to increase your site’s SERP ranking. Long-tail keywords are specific to your niche. For example, it can be “homes for sale in South Tampa’s Sunset Park”. You can rank for specific keywords related to your home building and development services on both of your blog posts as well as your website pages.
Adding keywords to your website or blog can help you increase traffic cost-effectively. One of the most common ways to enhance SEO ROI is to focus on long-tail keywords littered with longer phrases aimed at a more specific market.
The better you rank for long-tail keywords, the more traffic you attract. Thus, the higher the probability you have to land a sale for your new home or community project.
Once you’ve created a list of customers who are potential buyers, you can send them frequent newsletters. Some ideas to include in your newsletter are the new homes your company has built, housing innovations, mentioning local events you’ll be attending or that they might find of interest.
With every newsletter, there is a platform behind it. I like to use Vertical Response, which makes it easy to edit my newsletter periodically and to collect useful ROI data. Other email marketing tools available include MailChimp, Constant Contact and iContact.
Newsletters inform your target audience about your brand in a subtle approach which helps keep your company at the forefront of homebuyers’ minds. You can communicate with your subscribers as often as you like, and you can address your emails to address them personally, which can help you become more effective and build rapport.
Social media for home builders and developers may sound difficult, but it can be one of the best ways to communicate with potential leads and strengthen your customer relationships. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube to your advantage:
Use your Facebook demographics to promote special offers and reach out to neighbors who match very specific customer characteristics.
Use Twitter to announce company updates and as a platform to perform hashtag research. Twitter can also be very insightful about trends and consumer opinions.
Use Instagram to showcase your new homes, product features and progressions of your construction projects. Instagram is also a useful platform for hashtag research and to learn more about homebuyer’s personal and family lives.
Use LinkedIn to connect with other home building and developer professionals as well as your interested homebuyers. You can also create a company page on LinkedIn where you can have yet another avenue to drive website traffic and a place to post your blog articles.
Use Pinterest for sharing home design ideas to your target audience. Pinterest allows you to reach new audiences, get closer to your target audience in a new way and also offer a whole new level of customer service.
Use YouTube as a place to upload all of your videos and connect with more people looking to buy one of your products. In fact, there is SEO for YouTube which I will talk about in a later article.
If you don’t have the in-house knowledge, you can work with one of the many SEO agencies that exist today. An SEO campaign can be implemented easily as well. Collaborate with your team and find a talented marketing company that can help you improve your organic rankings. Work with them to determine an ideal SEO plan that meets your needs and fits your marketing budget.
By partnering with an experienced SEO agency, you can get the traffic and visibility you have always wanted. Professional SEO companies know what resources and tools to use in order to make the best of your campaign plan.
Did you know 53% of shoppers often start their online homebuying search through search engines such as Google? Plus, consider that 55% of searchers click on the top three most popular SERP results. If your website is not performing SEO strategies, it is most certainly not in the top three. Therefore, many of your potential buyers will be lost to the competition.
Another homebuyer’s perspective to take into consideration is that 85% of homebuyers consider real estate websites the most useful source of information when buying a home. So, there is no question your buyers appreciate and value your website, it’s a question of how well your website organic rankings are performing.
Remember, SEO takes time and is highly competitive. In fact, it will take approximately six months to see some positive traction after launching an SEO campaign. Be patient with your SEO strategies to sell homes and results will come.
The last step is to be on a plethora of online directories. You can create listings in other high-quality directories to help your target audience find your products and services. When it comes to the housing market, consider also putting your homes on Houzz, Zillow and other home-related search platforms.
The more online directories you are on, the better the chance of getting more work or a potential client. Online directories in addition to SEO is an excellent strategy to implement to your current marketing plan. However, be absolutely certain that your business name, address, phone and other important information are exactly the same on all of these directories or you will cause confusion.
In conclusion, it takes many techniques to rank organically on the SERP. It takes a village of your team members along with an experienced SEO agency to make ranking in the top three positions possible.
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
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